Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Missed Picture Opportunity

We stopped at the store across from the campground to buy ice and the wind was blowing through the van. Our camp sticker that is supposed to adhere to the back of the review mirror flew out the window. Pat ran after it - turned around with an incredulous look on his face and said it was stuck to a bird. Then a blackbird took off with the sticker fluttering in the wind on his wing! Even though I had my camera with me it all happened way too fast.

The park ranger said she never heard an excuse that was so funny about why a camper needed a new sticker!

We are in the midst of a severe weather storm watch - it has been getting darker and darker by the minute. We have been watching the doppler weather on the Galaxy Tablet which has been a great tool for camping.

Picture Perfect

Lilacs are at their peak this week in Rose City. I wish you could smell them. It is so beautiful. The weather is wonderful for our annual trip with our friends to the Rifle River Recreation Area.

My friend Arnie used to tell me the story of living on the farm with, I think, seven brothers and his mother would send them all out to pick armloads of lilacs. She would throw all the windows open and it was one of his favorite memories of growing up. Thank you God for lilacs.
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Sunday, May 29, 2011

1 - 2 - 3

Grandpa and Grandma Caroline playing 1-2-3 with Ayva!
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Saturday, May 28, 2011

Jim's Birthday Dinner

MLive.com : jj Jamokes offers food with a view in Caro
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We read the review of JJ Jamokes in Caro in the Saginaw News (link above) and decided to take Jim there for his birthday dinner. (Yes his birthday is in March but we all have had the travel bug this year!) The food was good and the scene outside the window was beautiful. Cindy had Chicken Carbanera, Jim had Steak and Shrimp, Pat had Perch and I had Salmon Salad. Everyone liked what they ordered. We all said we would go back again.

Friday, May 27, 2011


I actually had to search for the word sister to see if I had already blogged this - I haven't. I always say that our family is most blessed because my brother, Jim married such a wonderdul woman.

She not only brought two wonderful children into our family but she has become a wonderful sister, too.

When my Mom was sick she relieved me every single day at 7:00. She had her hands full at home, she was working and going to school. But still - every night she came to Mom's apartment and stayed until a caregiver came for the evening. And. . . . She not only showed up she would get my Mom in the wheelchair, push her across the hall and visit with my Mom's sisters and brothers many of those evenings - sometimes they even played cards. She must have been exhausted - but she never waivered in her goodness and was always reliable and loving.

Another thing is how she has always opened her home to us for family get togethers. Sometimes blending her family with our family making a big houseful of people. We have had the opportunity to meet her first husband's family as well.

Why write about Cindy today? Cause I love her and I am so glad Jim married her so I could have another sister!


We bought a refrigerator WITH a Freezer for our Holiday Rambler! This is a BIG upgrade. Pat had to do some carpentry work and he reworked the electrical a bit. I can't wait to go camping!
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Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Testing Out Bill's Theory

We stopped over to see Bill and Amy this afternoon. I have to say Amy and I bonded over the last week of Oprah. We told them we were going to the Junction for dinner and when we left Bill said not to eat too much popcorn!

Too much popcorn? How could you eat too much popcorn? He said the next day you may be sorry! So we got a third bowl of popcorn for the very first time! If I don't mention this again you will know Bill Meister was incorrect!
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Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Drive Two Hours for Half Hour Walk

We drove to Marl Lake (just across from Higgins Lake South campground.) Then we walked in the woods for a half hour. There was a chill in the air, perfect for a brisk walk with my Sweetie. He walks ahead of me on the trails to knock down spider webs for me!
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First Picnic

We all met at the Saginaw Township playscape, eventually. Joanna says I told her 6:45 not 5:45! But we still had fun. Jesse and Caroline brought Ayva - Javier was with his other Grandma so he couldn't join us. :-(

Sheala brought Nathanial. Robin, Joanna and Robbie,too. We stopped at Subway and brought subs.

It was so windy but we had fun. Ayva had everybody playing with her. She is fearless - one time falling on her butt coming down the slide and she knows how to not do that again. Robbie, Sheala and Nathanial had fun with her after dinner.

I did send a message to Parks and Recreation - the seagulls were pulling everything out of the trash bins - they need to have covers on them.

While Pat and I were waiting for everyone we saw two little girls playing on a roof of one of the structures. When they started dodging water balloons I turned into the park police and made them get down!

We had such a good time - I know they wanted to play ball but the ball fields must have been too wet - this was a fun replacement.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Jesse and Ayva

We came home right after lunch to play with Ayva. We had such fun watching her go in the with the sprinkler and catch bubbles her Grandpa was making.
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We drove to Tawas to have lunch. We were hoping Pier 23 would be open. They are not. So we stopped at Mr. Jack'ss in town.

I told the Chef I would move to Tawas for the salad I had for lunch!

It had greens, Asian pears, goat's cheese and pecans carmelized with Kaluha! Oh my goodness. It was delicious.

All is Right with the World

I know some people were worried about the prediction that the world was going to end yesterday at 6:00 pm. Well really I've been living with those predictions since I can remember. Wasn't Jean Dixon predicting the end of the world in the 60's?

Instead I was worried my friend Fran, from Shalimar, had quit reading my blog! I watch the cities of my visitors. Like clockwork Fran and my friend Peggy in Saginaw both come in around the same time every morning. This past week - no Fran. So I finally emailed her and asked if she was okay. She was at Disney - her favorite stomping grounds!

So - today, a day after the end of the world prediction - all is right with the world.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Yikes - Maybe There are Aliens!

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Carwash Today

Get your car washed and support Youth for Christ - Sheala and Robbie are there - it is until 2:00
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Friday, May 20, 2011

Javier Graduates from Preschool

We went to see Javier graduate this morning. He is growing up so fast! CONGRATULATIONS JAVIER!
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Thursday, May 19, 2011

Yeah Tigers!

We are at O'Kelly's in Mt. Pleasant watching the Tigers on the big screen TVs. We love coming here to watch them. Good var food, nice waitstaff, fun time. BTW we saw a beautiful rainbow on our way here.
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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Music Class

One of my favorite memories of grade school was a music class in sixth grade. Sister Marie Raymond, who was not my favorite teacher, helped us write lyrics to a song. I don't remember even what the song was about. She wrote the lyrics on the chalk board and then told us to begin to sing!

We were so surprised because there were no notes, how could we sing the song? After many students spoke up and asked how we were supposed to do that she told us we would all naturally sing together eventually and she would write the notes above the words.

I was amazed because it actually worked. Even though I do not remember anything about that song it taught me about working as a team. It was fun and unexpected and made a lasting impression on me.

New Parish

We officially joined SS Peter and Paul church. Even though we have been going there for a few years we never officially left St. Mary's. We stopped by the St. Pete's parish office today and later this afternoon I will send a letter to St. Mary's to tell them we have joined another parish. This is a very difficult day for me. I feel at peace with the decision but the tears have been flowing.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

First House Built by Paul Clifford

The sun is shining so we decided to go for a ride. We went to recycle so Pat first thought we would go towards the Thumb. But as we headed that way it looked cloudy and gray. So we turned toward Indiantown.

As we drove down Trumball towards Cass Pat said the first house he lived in and that his Dad built was just up the road. So we stopped and took a few pictures. It is real cute. When we showed him the picture he said that both Grandpa Clyde Clifford and Grandpa Joseph Crower helped him build that house.
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Monday, May 16, 2011

Just Get Through This

I'm watching Oprah - only 8 more shows to go. James Frey, author of A Million Little Pieces is the guest. His book was an Oprah Book Club selection when it was found that he lied in his book. Oprah stood behind him and then had him back on the show. It was evident to her during that show that he had lied.

Today's interview when she asked how he felt after that interview five years ago. He said he felt if he could only get through the next few weeks he could make it.

It brought back memories of the several times I ended up in the principal's office in high school. I always got through those times by saying inside my head, "This will all be over in a couple weeks!"

I have to say it always was over after a few weeks and I lived through it. It is amazing how we cope and learn to get through things.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Friends For Dinner

We had Kay and Jerry over for dinner last night. We had such a nice time. You cannot be around them for five minutes before you start laughing. We lived next to each other when our kids were small. It was such a blessing to become such good friends.

We talked about old times, kids, blueberries, wine, dentists, chemistry,food, work, families, vacations, camping, computers, houses, mushrooms, dirty feet, friends, garages, basements and a gazillion other things. Such a nice evening.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Trying Out New Recipes

I always like to try new things. This week I have been trying out new recipes for our annual camping trip with Amy and Bill and Jan and Jim. We take turns cooking for the group. I have lunch dinner and appetizers picked out but I'm still not sure about breakfast.

The new appetizer is an apple/onion tart with dried cranberries and blue cheese along with an old favorite, spinach balls. I can make the tart ahead and have the spinach balls frozen ahead of time and just pop them in the oven for a few minutes.

Lunch is called a "walking taco" that we had at one of the high school craft shows last winter. You just take single serving Fritos or Dorritos and open the bags and add chili. Each person can add lettuce, tomatoes and onions. You eat it right out of the bag. Easy cleanup and very delicious.

Dinner will be turkey sausage pizza. We purchased the pizza stone last month and even though I haven't perfected it yet I still have time to keep working on it.

So breakfast is still not chosen - I will continue searching the websites for something new. If you have any suggestions I would love to have you leave me a comment. Thanks.

Friday, May 13, 2011

I'm Back

Oh my goodness, Blogger has been out of service! No entries since my last one on Tuesday! The blogs were read only so when it went down any comments made on Wednesday were lost in cyber space forever! Even though I don't have anything important to say - I just like to blog. Welcome back Blogger.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Stylin' Granddaughter

Sheala sent me a picture of her trying on her prom dress at the mall. The next day this Marchesa designer gown was in my Harper's Bazaar. I share my magazine with Sheala so I sent her the picture and told her how stylin' she is. What fun being her Nana!

Sheala's Prom Dress

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Marchesa Original from Bazaar

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Hollow Legs

Oh my goodness, Robbie has to have hollow legs! Where does that young man put the food he eats! He came over with Caroline, Jesse, Javier and Ayva before their first ballgame of the year. He ate everything in sight.

Pat didn't get to go play ball. He hurt his back just before coming home from camping with his brother for the weekend. He actually went to the doctor yesterday and the drugs seem to be helping.

We kept Javier and Ayva while they all went to the game. I took them back to Chester Miller - they had so much fun. Then we came back home and played tea party and had cheese and crackers. They are a joy to play with. Lots of please and thank yous and even you're welcomes. They love the animal sounds on my Galaxy Tablet and the Star Wars app that has the characters say their most famous sayings when you tap their pictures.

Monday, May 9, 2011


Yesterday I went to church alone. My friends were with families and Patrick went camping with his brother. The liturgy was so good I felt sorry they had all missed it.

The Gospel reading was about disciples on the road to Emmaus talking with each other and Jesus walks up and joins them and he explains by interpreting the scriptures that were about his life just why he died and was raised. They still do not recognize him until they share and break bread with him and then he disappears.

They then return to Jerusalem and gave hope to the apostles by telling them how Christ appeared to them and they had come to know him in the breaking of the bread. Every time I receive Eucharist I have a chance to know Jesus. To take the time to reflect on that hope the disciples felt.

Fr. Jack read the Vatican response to the killing of Osama bin Laden. "Osama bin Laden, as we all know, was gravely responsible for promoting hatred and division between peoples, causing the death of countless innocent lives and of exploiting religions to this end. Faced with the death of a man a Christian never rejoices but reflects on the serious responsibility of each and every one of us before God and before man, and hopes and commits himself so that no event be an opportunity for further growth of hatred but for peace."

This response and the Gospel and Fr. Jack's homily have touched my heart in many ways.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moms I Know and Love

There are so many moms in our lives. Of course my own Mom is first on the list. She taught me how wonderful being at home with your children is - every single day she was there when I came home from school. I never ever remember her not being there my first years in grade school. I loved coming home after school. My Mom didn't drive, it was a different time, a slower pace, a wonderful time. Then she went to work outside of the home and I learned you could go to work and still love your children. She was there every evening to listen about our day. Becoming a mom in the 70's I wanted to stay home with my babies and in the midst of so many women working outside of their homes, because of my life experiences, I felt comfortable making the decision to stay home for the first several years of their lives.

Then there were the neighborhood moms, women who watched over us and helped form our lives. It didn't matter what house you were at all these mothers were "stay at home" moms. I can't help but feel sadness that this support system is no longer available to most children.

Then I married Patrick and I inherited a Mother-in-Law. I have come to love and care about her. I am very thankful that she raised my husband to be the most caring and loving husband.

Then my friends became mothers and I began working with women who were mothers. It always was a learning experience watching how other mothers mother. Having Julie and Sarah during their first years living next to us was a joy. They gave me the chance to be a "neighborhood mom!" I loved having them play outside next door and spent many good times watching them grow up.

We were in our parish school principal's office when her daughter called to say she didn't want to stay at her new college. As she lovingly told her daughter that she had to stay at school and that she would call her back after she got home I realized saying no hurt very much but that was an important part of parenting.

Then watching my friends parent was so helpful. Many of those moms were going through the same things as our family and it helped us to watch others solve problems. There is something so comforting about watching others mother. It is fun to watch your friends when their children succeed in even the smallest ways and it is important to be there when your friends have to go through difficult times as well.

Then watching my children become such wonderful mothers is a gift in life. Both Joanna and Caroline are the best mothers and I couldn't be a prouder mother. I love being a mother - it has been such a wonderful part of my life. There has been laughter, tears, trips, camping, baking, cooking, laying on the couch together, watching them swimming, playing ball, dating, driving, going to school, getting married, becoming mothers, just going through life with my children has been such an important part of my life. Blessings. There are so many.

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spring Flowers

The sun is coming up and I just had to open the front door and take a snapshot of the beautiful flowers our friend and tenant, Marge, planted. What a beautiful morning.
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Friday, May 6, 2011

Remembering Mom

I can't believe how long ago Mom died - Sheala is 17 and she was born the year my Mom died. Even now my Mom is still so present in my life. Just tonight I was riding in the car with Joanna and I told her how her Grandma always said when she got a little extra money that would be when the washer broke or the roof needed to be repaired or some other crisis.

She never was upset that something would need to be repaired - instead she was so thankful that these things only happened when she could afford to fix them. She said that God always made sure there was enough.

On this Mother's Day weekend I just want to remember how wise she was and how thankful I am that I appreciated that wisdom while she was still alive. I miss her friendship as well as her wonderful mothering.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Bishop Ken Untener Homilies

I found Bishop Ken's homilies online. His sister, Sr. Mary Ann Untener, IHM, gave them to Visitation North Spirituality Center to post. I miss him so much - this is a treasure box to me - I am so happy. I've been reading them and have felt very blessed to find his words and thoughts. Not all readings have homilies available but many do. I am going to read one every day.

Bishop Ken Untener's Year C - Luke Gospels -Homilies

Bishop Ken Untener's Year B - Mark Gospels - Homilies

Bishop Ken Untener's Year A - Matthew Gospels - Homilies

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Eulogy of Charles F. Shea - May 1964

Monsignor Forbes, pastor of St. Mary Cathedral in Saginaw, Michigan, delivered this eulogy for my Dad, Charles Francis Shea in May 1964. On the anniversary of his death, when I read over these words, I am reminded again of the man I did not know for very long - 12 years - but even though I was very young, I remember what a devoted parishioner he was and how important our church was to him.

For we have not here the last big city, but we speak one that is to come. These words, my dear friends, are taken from the Book of Hebrew, the New Testament, Chapter 13:14. In the name of the Father, and the Son and the Holy Ghost. Amen.

My dear friends we are continuously in life reminded of the fact that this Earth is not our final end and goal; we proceed from birth through infancy to maturity of middle years to old age, we are constantly reminded of the gradual dissipation of our strength and of our youth. And this concerns our own self. But we’re also reminded of the transcendence of Earthly things, nothing is certain and nothing is secure. Material things that we depend upon, they disappear. The governments that have ruled the world and the kings have come and gone. Everywhere we look about us we see change. Change in ourselves and change going on around about us. For we have not here our final goal, but we seek one that is to come.

This is certainly brought home to us today, very graphically and forcefully when we are present at the final rites of the church over the remains of one of her beloved sons, who died in his mature years, full of strength, vigor of health for whom God had other plans and called him unto his own. There was a lot of work remaining for him, the family is not yet raised. Why would God for example, call Charles Shea and not his beloved mother who has seen the fullness of her years? This is the plan of God and His providence that we do not know why one and not another. Why Charles Shea and not me, we are the same age? It brings home to us deeply, earnestly, the fact that our name is written in the book of life and that we know not the day nor the hour when we will be called to give an accounting of our stewardship.

My dear friends, all of us who have known Charles (Chuck) Shea, have our own personal thoughts about him. We think of the many kindnesses he has done to each and every one of us. The charity in his life that has brought you here in such numbers today to be present in this last gesture that you can make on behalf of this man, whom you love.

I can speak as the pastor of this church. This man was, in my mind, our number one parishioner. The convent which stands at 621 Hoyt Avenue is a monument to the zeal and industry of this beloved parishioner. He was in on its planning, he headed the funds raising campaign that helped pay for it. But he was a head not in name; he was a head in deed as well. He came when he was called at all hours of the day and night, and he spent many of them on behalf of his church and its work. There are few parishioners like that around these days but there aren’t very many of them. Pastors when they do find one, they are certainly Heaven-blessed. We have a parish in the thumb where two years ago they were celebrating their 75th anniversary. This is a flourishing little parish, not many families, but they are devoted families. And one of the pastors had done a kind of history of the place, told how in the days of beginning, the priest would send word that something was to be done on the church property or in the church building and these men, farmers all, would leave their horses standing in the field and they would come at the call of their priest and shepherd to do the work that was to be done. You don’t find many people like that anymore, but we have lost one in Chuck Shea.

For years he was a valued member of our choir. It’s his faithfulness to this body here that he brought them out in numbers to raise their voices in final farewell to him, their beloved member. He was active in every organization we had in the parish. For years in the Home and School Parent Teachers Association. The Athletic Club, he had picked it up by its boot straps and established it. He was a faithful member of the parish in every way.

And at the wake the other night, I heard somebody say, “He never harmed anyone in his life.” He went about doing good and he did no harm to any that have come into contact with him. You and I are for better because for a fleeting moment we have known Chuck Shea. We have known a true Christian gentleman, a true follower of Christ, who put the teachings of Christianity into practice in his daily life. St. Mary’s is going to be the worse because of his demise. You and I are going to feel a loss at his going. Certainly we hope that his going will leave us a little the better. That we will be able to put into practice and try to practice the virtues of Christian charity and zeal and helpfulness that we saw exemplified in his life. I hope that we are all better, better Christians because we were privileged to know Chuck Shea even for a short time.

To his Mother, his Wife, his Children, I extend my sincere sympathy, you have suffered a great loss, there’s emptiness in your life that can never be filled. We want you to know that you did your best and your utmost to preserve and to keep his body and soul joined together. But the moments of final disillusion decreed by Almighty God from all eternity has come for your loved one. Almighty God who had felt that the cup of his suffering had been filled to overflowing called him to Himself. That his stewardship on this Earth had been fulfilled and was to be no more. Medical science can do much to preserve human life but it cannot stay the moment of final disillusion. We would not want him back for more and further suffering on this Earth. We miss him, we admire the patience and the resignation for which he bore the trials that were visited upon him. We sincerely hope and pray that the God of Mercy will grant him the rest and peace and the happiness in the next life and eternal reward which he deserves for faithful fulfillment of the duties of his state of life here on Earth.

I sincerely hope that you who have gathered here in numbers this morning will remember him in your prayers, as I know from the prayers of the liturgy of the Mass we must ask eternal rest for each and every departed soul; that God may give the final and eternal peace to all who have died. For we have not here a lasting city, but we seek one that is to come. Eternal rest grant unto him O Lord and let the perpetual light shine upon him. Amen.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

3rd generation playing at Chester Miller playground!

First I took Caroline and Joanna (even though they were older we still went over to swing), then Sheala and Robbie owned the playground, then today Javier and Ayva had no fear! They had such fun with Nana while Grandpa and Grandma Caroline went to ball practice with Papa and Robbie.
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